Following the death of George Floyd, as CNN reported in early June, protests against racial injustice were taking place not just in the United States, but all across the world. One such protest took place in Bristol, England, where protesters set their sights on a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which had stood in the city since 1895. Protesters toppled the statue and threw it into the city’s harbor.
As reported by The Inquisitr, officials later pulled the statue up from the bottom of the sea, with a view towards putting it in a museum.
Meanwhile, the plinth on which Colston’s statue had rested still stands. And in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, according to The Guardian, artist Mac Quinn and his team erected a statue of a Black Lives Matter protester in a stealth operation.
Quinn had secretly been working for weeks with Jen Reid, who was photographed standing on the plinth with her fist raised after the statue was toppled, in order to cast her likeness, in the pose from that fateful day, into a statue.
Arriving with two trucks and a crew of ten, Quinn and his team then erected the statue of Reid, and made sure it was solidly affixed to its base, then drove off before police could arrive to intervene.
Reid, for her part, had nothing but praise for the statue.
“It’s just incredible. That’s pretty f*cking ballsy, that it is.”
Sanna Bertilsson, a bicyclist who happened to be passing by, at first thought that the statue had been changed officially by the city, before being told it was done without permission.
“I’d better get a picture before they take it down,” she said.
Another passing bicyclist, Bobby Loyal, said he hopes the statue stays.
“It’s a really great addition to the center of Bristol… I just hope no one is angry about it and tries to rip this down… I think the council should leave it in place,” he said.
For now, the statue’s future is uncertain. Bristol mayor Marvin Rees had said previously that he could not condone criminal damage, but at the same time called the destruction of the Colston statue a “piece of historical poetry.”